Rochelle’s Special Education Tips
Just Because You Are Thinking It Does Not Mean You Have To Say It
We have all done this. We have a thought that we should keep to ourselves, but somehow instead of keeping quiet, we say what we are thinking. You cannot go around with masking tape covering your mouth, but at IEP team meetings we need to remember that silence may be golden. For instance, you really do not need to say:
- We probably should not have disciplined him for that act. (You still have 10 days of suspension before you have to have a manifestation meeting.)
- I agree, what we are doing is not the “best” thing. (You are not required to do the “best.”)
- I do not have time to check the agenda book. (Unless it is required by the IEP, you do not need to do this.)
- The aide is not the greatest. (So train her or move her to another position.)
You may not be violating the law, but you are giving a poor impression to the parents. While you should never hide mistakes and should provide compensatory services upfront when a child has not received required services, you always want to put the IEP team’s best foot forward.
Also, unrelated, remember that the parent’s attorney or advocate may not be accurately stating the law at the IEP team meeting. While most are professional, there are some who have their own ideas of what an interpretation of the law should be, and that interpretation may not be correct.